A half dozen people wake up to find themselves in a run down prison-like structure. Talking with one another, they discover that the last thing any of them remembers is going about their daily jobs then being attacked and knocked unconscious. This is where each of them woke up. Quick introductions are made:
- Oscar Fnord: An artificial human with fungus DNA who remembers working as an office manager in an accounting and trading firm.
- “Lucky” George: A half-man, half-goat who uses his magnetic mutations as an effective sentry and guard in his hometown.
- Mentok: A powerful psychic who operates as a roving judge and investigator under the pseudonym of “Mind-Taker.”
- Nitro-19: A synthetic woman built for scouting with a computer brain and an unhealthy love of self-detonation.
- Woodrow: A pessimistic but formal demon of nightmares who tries to make a living as a humble mechanic.
- Crash: A former crash test dummy who gained sentience and teleportation powers during the Big Mistake and made a living as a thief.
Before they can organize themselves, a group of tough-looking porker guards shows up to take one of the prisoners. Fortunately Woodrow and George are able disable the locks to the two shared cells and Crash simply teleported out. The porkers fight back but a self-detonating Nitro rattles them and when Mentok sends one of their number tumbling through the timestream, the fight goes out of them. It was fortunate that the guards had forgotten to disarm their prisoners!
The group breaks out of the room and works their way out. Moving up the hallway, they overhear what sounds like a shift change, with veteran guards laughingly ordering a ‘rookie’ to stay behind and watch things while they go get a beer. Rounding the corner, the group finds a lone young dabber behind a wall of laser beams. Seeing the controls on the opposite side of the grid, the mutants trick the dabber into switching off the lasers then rush him. Seeing the oncoming rush of freaks, the dabber faints dead away. Having a soft spot for furry creatures, Nitro decides to take the dabber along with her.
Continuing on their way through the building, the group finds itself in a large industrial laboratory where a mutant rat creature operates a robotic crane over two bubbling vats of goo – one a thick brown and the other a translucent green. A pair of hovering sentry robots notice the escaped prisoners and attack. The rat throws some switches and a half dozen shambling humanoid mutants, all but brain dead and animated by robotic parts, burst from containers to join the fight.
The robots prove troublesome, dashing about with electro-blades to slice up anybody hiding in the back – particularly Mentok and Woodrow. Fortunately, the young dabber (whose name is Ricky) decides to throw in with Nitro and her allies and lends his sharpshooter’s eye (and a lot of bullets) to the fray. Nitro herself decimates the cyber-zombies with her explosions, though many of the mutants help drop those creatures.
George and Crash focus on the rat (one Doctor Chu), seeing him as the worst threat. Crash impairs Chu’s movements with a bit of Ancient tech called a grav shield and George uses his magnetics to drag Chu into one of the vats, slowing him further. But Chu proves troublesome by blasting poor George with his scattergun and nearly killing the brave goat. But between the grav shield and the green gelatin, Chu was slowed enough for the rest of the mutants to pile on and bring him down.
After taking anything of value from the lab, the mutants found a set of stairs and headed up, realizing that they were in a subterranean complex. They were intercepted at the entrance by an arrogant serf warlord who called himself Brigadier Krankor. Surrounding Krankor were several flying guardbots, and at his side was a giant orlen warrior named Jebidiah-Cletus. Krankor gloated over the would-be escapees, claiming that he had been kidnapping formidable mutants for months and using Doctor Chu’s technology to turn them into mindless drones for his army. The group would only be the next additions to his forces.
But the mutants had heard enough monologuing for one day and attacked. At first the battle was definitely in Krankor’s favor, as his invisibility and life leech mutations decimating the clustered prisoners. Jebidiah-Cletus was also a formidable foe, his four arms wielding both a pair of huge axes and a pair of large-bore firearms. Finally, Mentok uses his mental abilities to wheedle into the orlen’s double brain and psychically convince him that Krankor was a jerk and didn’t deserve his service. The orlen thought this made perfect sense and slapped the serf around for a bit before leaving the complex. Injured and alone, Krankor was not match for the collective mutant assault.
Escaping the complex at last, the freed mutants discover to their dismay that none of them knows where they are – they have all been taken far, far from their homes. Finding a battered pre-Mistake RV that apparently served as Krankor’s personal vehicle, the mutants decide to stick together while they try to find their way back to their individual homes.
(All except for Mentok, who chooses to stay behind and help ‘rehabilitate’ Krankor’s surviving army….)